Author Topic: Donating After Death  (Read 359 times)

Online Solar

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Donating After Death
« on: December 27, 2017, 03:17:42 PM »
What a shock.

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Sam Kazemi stood over the old man’s corpse. Nearby lay pliers, a scalpel and a motorized saw designed to cut drywall and pipe.

On a busy day, Kazemi might harvest body parts from five or six people who had donated their bodies to science. On this day in November 2013, the corpse before Kazemi typified the donors who gave their remains to his employer, Biological Resource Center.

The man was a retired factory worker with a ninth-grade education. He had lived with his wife in a mobile home in Mohave Valley, Arizona, and had died six days earlier, aged 75. His name was Conrad Patrick.

But after he died and his body was donated, Patrick became a commodity, known by the company’s initials and a number: BRC13112103.

Reuters reviewed thousands of internal BRC records and confidential law enforcement documents containing profiles of Patrick and 2,280 other donors. The documents include invoices and inventories for thousands of body parts harvested from those people. They show how their bodies were dissected, which body parts were sent where, and why buyers obtained them.

Kazemi helped cut up and package Patrick into seven pieces. BRC shipped Patrick’s left foot to a Chicago-area orthopedic lab. His left shoulder was sent to a Las Vegas company that holds surgical seminars. His head and his spine went to a project run by the U.S. Army. And Patrick’s “external reproductive organs” were sent to a local university. His right foot and left knee were placed in the company’s freezers, where they became part of BRC’s million-dollar inventory of flesh and bone.

For more than a year, Reuters has examined America’s body trade, a little-known and virtually unregulated industry. These businesses, which call themselves non-transplant tissue banks, are also known as body brokers.

The operations can resemble meat-packing plants. At BRC, body parts from heads to fingernails were harvested and sold. On Saturday mornings, Kazemi taught college students how to dismember cadavers in the company lab. He also starred in a grisly training video, demonstrating how to carve out a man’s spine using a motorized saw.

The documents obtained by Reuters – along with dozens of interviews with investigators, former BRC workers and families of donors – offer an unparalleled look at how one of America’s major body brokers operated.

The records, never before made public, also reveal how little the government or the donors themselves understood what was happening at the company, and show in graphic detail how a cadaver becomes a commodity.

Sales invoices detail many of those transactions.

For $607, BRC sold the liver of a public school janitor to a medical-device company. The torso of a retired bank manager, bought by a Swiss research institute, fetched $3,191. A large Midwestern healthcare system paid $65 for two femoral arteries, one from a church minister. And the lower legs of a union activist were purchased by a Minnesota product-development company for $350 each.

For raw material, the industry relies in large part on people too poor to afford a funeral, offering to cremate a portion of each donated body for free.

A Reuters analysis of BRC donor files from May 3, 2011 through January 20, 2014 confirmed how important the disadvantaged were to business. The vast majority of BRC donors came from neighborhoods where the median household income fell below the state average. Four out of five donors didn’t graduate from college, about twice the ratio of the country as a whole.

Before brokers accept a body, they typically present the donor or next of kin with a consent form. These agreements are often written in technical language that many donors and relatives say they find hard to understand. The documents give brokers the right to dismember the dead, then sell or rent body parts to medical researchers and educators, often for hundreds or thousands of dollars. At BRC, a whole body sold for $5,893, records show.

Since 2004, when a federal health panel unsuccessfully called on the U.S. government to regulate the industry, Reuters found that more than 2,357 body parts obtained by brokers from at least 1,638 people have ended up misused, abused or desecrated.

Documents reviewed for this article indicate that those figures are vastly understated. The extent of BRC’s operation surprised even investigators who raided the Phoenix-based company in 2014.

Much More~~~

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/special-report-business-where-human-bodies-were-butchered-131025725.html
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Offline Hoofer

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Re: Donating After Death
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 04:34:21 PM »
Why people might want to think about what it actually means to, "Donate your body to science."  Do they really imagine the entire body is going to one place, like a bunch of college biology students are going to gawk at what a stud or babe you were...?  Don't think so, the article destroys that myth.
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Online Solar

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Re: Donating After Death
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 04:39:02 PM »
Why people might want to think about what it actually means to, "Donate your body to science."  Do they really imagine the entire body is going to one place, like a bunch of college biology students are going to gawk at what a stud or babe you were...?  Don't think so, the article destroys that myth.
Exactly! The old romanticized myth of the 30s med school, those days are long gone.
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Offline Bronx

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Re: Donating After Death
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 06:36:48 AM »
They can take out the inner parts and give it to folks that are in need of them but the outter parts will be cremated and sprinkled over a stream so the fish can have at it. After all I ate planty of them in my life time. Kind of like paying it forward.... :lol:
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